US Department of Labor's OSHA cites 2 Dallas employers for exposing
workers to hazards after 2 people were struck and killed by a forklift
DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Georg Fischer Central Plastics LLC and Nationwide Plastics Inc. for 16 safety and health violations at the plastic manufacturing facility on Joseph Hardin Drive in Dallas, after a worker and a self-employed truck driver were struck and killed by a forklift in June.
"By failing to implement OSHA standards, these employers put its workers at risk. Ultimately, two people paid the price with their lives," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "It's the employer's responsibility to find and fix the hazards that expose workers to injuries and illnesses."
When they were fatally injured, the Georg Fischer employee and the truck driver were caught between a forklift and a flatbed trailer being loaded with plastic pipe. Georg Fischer and Nationwide Plastics occupy the same commercial space.
The 16 serious safety violations for both companies include failing to ensure that the manufacturer-provided safety latch was intact on the hook of the overhead hoist; ensure that buildings or other structures used for storage purposes had load ratings; guard platforms with standard railing; provide a lockout and tagout program to control energy sources; and ensure all workers complete required forklift training. Other safety violations include failing to block wheels of powered industrial trucks parked on inclines; plainly mark the rated loads on each side of the crane; provide tongue guards on bench grinders; and train workers and ensure familiarity with safety-related work practices and lockout or tagout parts of fixed electrical equipment or circuits.
One serious health violation was cited for failing to administer a continuing and effective hearing conservation program. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Proposed penalties total $97,200. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Dallas area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Dallas office at 214-320-2400.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.